Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ljkeane

Rugby: Building up to Japan

Recommended Posts

I’ve got nothing against Scotland but I’m really hoping Japan go through. They’ve always played a great brand of rugby, they were really unlucky to miss out last time and it’d be a boost for the World Cup for the home team to go through.

Great first half from Japan too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait, which is the tier one nation here again? Japan?  SRU regretting their insistence on playing this match! 

if I was boks I’d be worried

and we’ve got New Zealand. Great. Nothing to lose though and we’ve beaten them. Ireland have proved in this tournament so far that they need a challenge to rise to, rather than coming in favorites. Got that now! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great game from Japan. Scotland played a valiant second half but they were always going to be up against it needing to win by 8 or more. Conceding the four-try bonus point to Japan relatively early on was really the death knell for their chances of progressing.

Good for the tournament as well that a potentially dynamite situation with a match cancellation was avoided.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant game and I'm glad we got to see that rather than the sour note of another cancellation.

Great effort from Scotland to get themselves back into the game. They're a dangerous side when they can play wide open and let Finn Russell fling the ball around, as they showed against England in the Six Nations, and Japan were starting to look a little bit ragged in defence towards the end of the second half.

Still, overall Japan deserved to win the game for me and they definitely deserved to win the group. They pulled off a great shock win at the last World Cup but this time round they're just a really good team who are rightfully through to the quarterfinals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great win for Japan. They've played some eye-catching rugby as well and thoroughly deserved to top the group. Going to be a tough game for South Africa. Ireland vs New Zealand should hopefully be a good match up as well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was a well-deserved victory for Japan who really dominated most of the first half. Scotland did fight back well in the second half, but they had too big a mountain to climb. South Africa definitely won't be taking them lightly in the quarter finals (even without the memories of 2015).

It was also an excellent effort from the Japanese to put the game on in the first place, it would have been a shame to miss out on that match.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SANZAAR should consider expanding the Rugby Championship to include Japan (maybe get Fiji in as well to make it a six team tournament). Travel will be a bitch but regular exposure to top level opponents would be great for Japanese rugby - the Sunwolves are already a part of Super Rugby.

Japan didn't do themselves any favours though by backing France over South Africa for the 2023 WC. Just like Australia backing Japan over New Zealand for the 2011 WC which resulted in a lot of damage being done to the relationship, Japan could now find themselves in a position where SARU either actively block or not go out of their way to support Japan's inclusion into the Rugby Championship. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Consigliere said:

SANZAAR should consider expanding the Rugby Championship to include Japan (maybe get Fiji in as well to make it a six team tournament). Travel will be a bitch but regular exposure to top level opponents would be great for Japanese rugby - the Sunwolves are already a part of Super Rugby.

Japan didn't do themselves any favours though by backing France over South Africa for the 2023 WC. Just like Australia backing Japan over New Zealand for the 2011 WC which resulted in a lot of damage being done to the relationship, Japan could now find themselves in a position where SARU either actively block or not go out of their way to support Japan's inclusion into the Rugby Championship. 

Someone has to.

Over all, I think I prefer the idea of inviting Japan, USA and Canada to join the European competitions (2 into ENC1 and 1 into ENC2), with promotion and relegation all the way up to the 6N (decided by play-off every other year).

Sanzaar also need to look after the Islanders, Namibia, Uruguay. Probably 2 level of 4 teams (or, more likely, 4&6), as that's how you're already set, but again, promotion and relegation is required between the levels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Consigliere said:

SANZAAR should consider expanding the Rugby Championship to include Japan (maybe get Fiji in as well to make it a six team tournament). Travel will be a bitch but regular exposure to top level opponents would be great for Japanese rugby - the Sunwolves are already a part of Super Rugby.

Japan didn't do themselves any favours though by backing France over South Africa for the 2023 WC. Just like Australia backing Japan over New Zealand for the 2011 WC which resulted in a lot of damage being done to the relationship, Japan could now find themselves in a position where SARU either actively block or not go out of their way to support Japan's inclusion into the Rugby Championship. 

The Sunwolves are leaving Super Rugby

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very pleased that Japan played and won and there will never be any * next to their pool win by some who might have claimed it wasn't deserved had the game been cancelled because of the typhoon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Consigliere said:

SANZAAR should consider expanding the Rugby Championship to include Japan (maybe get Fiji in as well to make it a six team tournament). Travel will be a bitch but regular exposure to top level opponents would be great for Japanese rugby - the Sunwolves are already a part of Super Rugby.

That's putting it mildly. A better option, IMHO, would bring back proper tours. Japan playing New Zealand provincial teams, with a one-off test before the Rugby Championship would be awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway, my predictions for the QFs:

  • England v. Australia
  • New Zealand v. Ireland
  • Wales v. France
  • Japan v. South Africa

Semis:

  • New Zealand v. England
  • Wales v. South Africa

Final:

  • New Zealand v. Wales

(I do, of course, expect to be thoroughly wrong about everything).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

That's putting it mildly. A better option, IMHO, would bring back proper tours. Japan playing New Zealand provincial teams, with a one-off test before the Rugby Championship would be awesome.

Effin' a! The professional era has lost something with the death of the classic tour. The only time we see it now is with the B&I Lions.

Man I miss the days of the grand slam tours where the ABs played every 5 nations team in the course of a single tour. Has there been a grand slam tour since the 6 nations became a thing?

And having international sides playing provincial teams was a great spectacle and big boost for grass roots rugby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Anyway, my predictions for the QFs:

  • England v. Australia
  • New Zealand v. Ireland
  • Wales v. France
  • Japan v. South Africa

(I do, of course, expect to be thoroughly wrong about everything).

I agree with these, with the caveat that I think the mercurial France are capable of pulling off an upset over Wales if the conditions are right. There's no danger of South Africa taking Japan lightly, so I think they'll probably end the hosts' dreams. England and the ABs are easy picks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say Wales and England are the easy picks.

I think the NZ/Ireland clash has the potential to be a close one. The Irish are a good outfit and have had some success against the ABs in recent years. The ABs could be a little undercooked after two easy run outs against Canada and Namibia and with the Italy game being cancelled. The underdog tag might even suit the Irish as well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Consigliere said:

 

I think the NZ/Ireland clash has the potential to be a close one. The Irish are a good outfit and have had some success against the ABs in recent years. The ABs could be a little undercooked after two easy run outs against Canada and Namibia and with the Italy game being cancelled. The underdog tag might even suit the Irish as well. 

Very much agree with this. We’re getting excited about Saturday here in Ireland  though, New Zealand haven’t played a game since sa on the 21st of September, then Canada and Namibia, then two weeks jerking off to tentacle porn in a typhoon? They’ve got to be struggling for focus. We’ve been through the wringer emotionally, and have come together nicely v Samoa. The emotional intensity with sexton leading against NZ...  the fear of humiliation coupled with the knowledge we can beat them? Furlong rampaging, murray sexton back in form, starting to believe...bring it on!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at the quarter-final match ups, I got to say this is easily the closest race to a final in decades. Not that there aren't favourites for the weekend games, but that the opponents are not overwhelming underdogs. Japan exemplifies this, I can imagine any of the 'underdogs' engineering a win. It will be an upset yes, but not a shocking one.


My 2 cents on the Quarters (I reserve the right to be completely wrong in every prediction - and that would still produce a tantalising set of semis):

England vs Australia 
Never been a fan of Chieka's selections in the past, and he really should have produced more wins from the pool of talent Australia could draw from. He's been chafing for redemption since the 2015 finals loss. And now that the Aussie front row & scrum is very good, there's a decent platform for possession and position. Hmm, I wrote that and its not a mistake. England though have been building steadily and they look confident. Who doesn't love a barnstorming run from Tuilangi (with exception to anyone in front of him).  A confident England will have the edge I think.

Wales vs France
Of the cancelled games last weekend I think France not getting a run will have the most impact. They looked assured & dangerous in long passages against Argentina but were then sporadic against Tonga and the USA. I think they're a match short to be able to overwhelm the Welsh defences, though if anyone can effect an All Blacks like blitz on the scoreboard, its France. Half the joy of any encounter against les Blues is anticipating which France turns up. My head says Wales, but I'm gonna call it - France to go through (and then lose the semi or final).  

Japan vs South Africa
Thoroughly deserving their place in the final 8, I can't see Japan not continuing the style of play that got them here. Their half, Nagare, has been outstanding. Best clearing pass in the tournament, helped by never being short of keen runners. However I expect SA to pepper their back three with kicks and make them earn every metre back. And if they turnover ball at the back then I think SA's attacking prowess of De Klerk, and later on Jantjies, at half and Cheslin Kolbe on the wing will prove too good in the end. SA to go through but this Japan will die hard!  

Ireland vs New Zealand
We (NZ) seldom lose ugly - by this I mean the matches where we've been beaten have been from teams playing sublime rugby. The most recent losses to Australia, Ireland and South Africa bear that out. Fantastic games but painful as a NZder. Although we can also win ugly, the challenge given to the ABs from their coaches seems to be to win by adventure.  For NZ the Mo'Unga/Barrett crux must be deployed again, but you can't do much without the ball so the linkmen at 6, 7 & 8 will be crucial. In this I'm expecting Ardie Savea to have a beast of a game. Either way I think it will be a great clash of styles and determination. 

My only requirement from Ireland, should they win, is they better go on and win the final! I've lived through too many occasions where we've been knocked out by the eventual runner up (looking at you France :) ).
Ireland to lead at half time with NZ to run them down after the gong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This tournament has been going on way way too long to only now have arrived at some meaningful matches.  I don't know how to solve that, smaller nations absolutely need to be involved, but the number of absolute hidings they have taken can't be helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×